Burbage During the Great War
Burbage During the Great War

Burbage Parish Magazine

Front Page of the Burbage Parish Magazine - January 1916

Excerpts from the Parish Magazine


Notes for the Month by the Vicar


January 1916 (Abridged)


MOTTO TEXT FOR THE NEY YEAR - With Jesus Acts iv, 13.  This text was suggested by the Bishop's address to the confirmation candidates on December 9th.  "With Jesus', shall we not begin the year 'with Jesus' and go on from week to week and month to month in still closer union 'with Jesus!'  This means real religion, true repentance and a living faith.  Let us be 'with Jesus' in prayer in remembering the needs of our country at this time , and the hardships and sufferings of our brave soldiers and sailors who are fighting, some of them in far distant lands, for King and Empire, right and freedom, for hearth and home.  Let us be 'with Jesus' in resolve to be faithful in His Services, self-denying in our lives, earnest in our approach to the alter and thankful for His grace and salvation.


SUNDAY, JANUARY 2nd, is appointed as a Day of Intercession throughout the country and it is requested that the collections in church be given to the Red Cross Society, and St John's Ambulance, as they were a year ago.  On January 1st, the Feast of the Circumcision, the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 7.45am and on Sunday 2nd at 8 and at midday.  There will be a short service for the men at 2.15.  The 'Form of Humble Prayer to Almighty God in time of War', will be used at the services.


THE SPIRITUAL CALL OF THE WAR. - In all the towns of the Diocese the message has now been given, and the call to the responsibilitiesof life in this time of war has been sounded.  The Bishop has arranged for a similar message to be deliveredin all the villages of the Diocese, and has invited special preachers from outside the Diocese to come and take part in the movement.  I am glad to be able to announce that the Rev A P Annand, vicar of St James' Bournemouth, has accepted the invitation to visit Burbage for Septuagesima Sunday, February 20th, and will conduct a week-end 'Mission' which I hope will help us one and all in this parish to take to heart the lessons of war, and lead us to a more earnest endeavour to draw nearer to God.


The list of services.............


The following prayer for the Parish might well be used in every home at this time.


Almighty and everlasting God, who doest govern all thingsin heaven and earth, mercifully hear the supplications of us, Thy servants, and grant unto this parish all things that are needful for its spiritual welfare.  Move our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit to a deeper repentance and a more earnest endeavour in this time of war and chastisement.  Make us all to hear and obey Thy call.  Instruct the hearts of the young in Thy holy discipline and godly fear: strengthen and confirm the faithful: turn and soften the sinful: rouse the careless:: recover the fallen: restore the penitent: remove all hinderences to the achievement of thy truth and bring all to be of one heart and mind within the Fold of They Holy Church to the honour and glory of Thy Name through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


THE ROLL OF HONOUR. - I am asked to add to our list the following names:  Sidney Cook Watts, 2nd Wilts Regiment, and Frederick Bradshaw, 2nd Wilts who have been prisoners of war since October 1914: J CBurden A.S.C,  Conward John Banning 4th Hants (Territorial) Regt, Herbert Broome E.F.C and Charles Moody, Army Vetinary Corps.






THE CONCERT on December 8th was an eminent success, and great credit is due to the promoters.  the schoolroom was crowded and the Pewsey Concert Party and members of the Upavon Flying Corps and other friends contributed a very effective programme.  the proceeds amounting to over £16 are being applied to sending gifts of socks and cigarettes to the burbage men serving in the forces.



THE DAY SCHOOLS.  The Rev G F Tanner, Diocesan Inspector, reports of the Religious Instruction in the mixed school, ' there is a marked improvement since the last inspection' and of the Infants' School ' that both classes are well taught, and the children answer eagerly.'


THE CHURCH GREEN. - Mr Baker has kindly sent, on behalf of the Marquess of Ailesbury, several scotch firs, one of which has been planted in the corner of the Church Green, in place of the beech which has not thrived.


February 1916 (Abridged)


THE SPIRITUAL CALL OF THE WAR. - As announced in last month's Magazine, a short 'Mission' will be held in our Church on Sunday, February 20th to bring home to us all the lessons of the war.  The Missioner will be the Rev. A.P. Annand, vicar of St James', Bournemouth.  The Sunday services will be...........


A Meeting of the Churchwardens and Sidesmen was held on January 18th, when arrangements were made for the delivery at every house in the Parish of a copy of the Bishop's letter, and a list of the Services and an invitation to come.  It is to be understood that the intention is to sound the spiritual call of the War, so that we may all be roused to greater earnestness and devotion to God.  What is needed is a readinessto hear God's message by His servant, and to lay it to heart.


The suggestions volunteered at the meeting for making the Services known were very helpful, and I desire to thank those who came to it and offered their assistance in carrying out the arrangements.  A little spiritual awakening is certainly wanted in this time of War, and we must all pray for the aid of the Holy Spirirt and for His quickening Presence amongst us.


THE SUNDAY SCHOOL. - Prizes were awarded to the children who have attended most regularly during the past year, and have been the most attentive.  The distribution took place at the Carol Service on Sunday December 26th.  Some reward books have also been given to the Choir boys in regular attendance.  Regularity and reverent behaviour deserve to be encouraged.


THE DAY OF INTERCESSION, Sunday January 2nd. - the collections for the National Fund of The British Red Crosss Society, and St John's Ambulance amounted to £3 10s 4d, and have been sent to the Treasurer and duly acknowledged.  This sum included 14s 2d in donations given during the week.  Particulars are posted on the notice Board.


CHURCHYARD IMPROVEMENT FUND. - I desire to acknowledge donations of 5s and 2s 6d from donors, who do not wish thier names mentioned.


THE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS were particularly effective, with the usual abundance of berried holly.  i desire to thank all who helped or sent flowers and evergreens.  As the weather this season, though extremely mild, has been wet and stormy, we were especially glad to see the Church so bright and festal.


THE CONFIRMATION, on December 9th. - I want to thank Mrs G New and Mrs Gale for their kindness in helping at the Tea for the candidates.  Twelve candidates  (nine boys and three girls) were presented from Burbage, eleven from Easton Royal and five from Wootten Rivers.  The day was exceedingly wet and stormy, but all whom came to the Service through the rain were rewarded by a most edifying address from the Bishop.


THE BURBAGE AND EASTON ROYAL FRIENDLY SOCIETY. - Just as I am sending the matter for the Magazine to the Press, I hear from Mr May that there is every prospect of the division of funds in a few days.  A statement will be published in due course.


March 1916 (Abridged)


THE SPIRITUAL CALL OF THE WAR. - The week end Mission as announced in the January and February numbers of the magazine was duly held, beginning on Friday, Feb 18th, with a service of preparation for Holy Communion and an address by the Missioner, the Rev A P Annand, to the communicants, based on the text, 'for their sakes I sanctify myself' (S. John xvii. 19.).  In spite of the stormy weather ......


THE ORDER for reducing light, or darkening windows at night, has come into force for the district.  the lamps and windows in the Church have been shaded and will continue so long as necessary.  The Evening Service on Sunday will be at six as usual.  The time for the Evening Service on Ash Wednesday, and the other Wednesdays in Lent, will be duly announced in Church, and also any special Preachers.  


THE BURBAGE AND EASTON ROYAL FRIENDLY SOCIETY. - After due notice in the "Marlborough Times", the assets of the Club were divided in accordance with the Registrar's award on Wednesday, February 9th.  The Trustees (Mr J J May and the Rev Hubert Sands) attended at the C.E.M.S. Institute, Burbage and with the assistance of the Secretary, Mr W J Chandler, and Messrs J Townsend and W H Burroughs, members of the  Committee dealt with about 180 applications from members, the majority of whom came in person.  In some cases cheques were sent ......


.......... Consequently, £1110 represents approximately the sum of which the members of the Burbage and Easton Royal Friendly Society have been defrauded by the late Secretary in the manner and by the means explained to the Committee and other members by Mr Fox, the Assistant Registrar, and Mr May.  It is an unfortunate ending to a Society which has existed for nearly a hundred years.


Afull statement and balance sheet will be printedas soon as possible and sent by the Trustees to all the members.


THE DUTY OF SAVING. - The War goes on and at present there are no signs of a turn for the better, much less of a victorious ending.  Still the nation is firm and hopeful.  The brave men in the trenches are cheerful and full of confidence.  Meanwhile the cost to the country is at the rate of £5,000,000 a day.  Anyone with a grain of common sense ought to realise what this means.  it means that no matter how good the wages may be in some quarters and among some classes, EVERYONEin is duty bound to practise the utmost economy and avoid all waste.  Surely this coming Lent everyone may begin, if a beginning has not been made, to ask himself or herself, "what is there that I can do without?"  some of us have been trying this for many, many months out of sheer necessity.  A great many more people, who are really better off than they were before the War, ought at once to do it out of duty.  i believ those in authority are going to make a great effort to impress this duty on the people.  it is indeed needed.


THE LATE MR JAMES MANN, of Westcourt.  A sad affair happened on the night of the division of the Club assets.  Soon after 9pm, Mr James Mann was run down by a motor in the High Street, and so seriously injured that it was necessary to take him at once to Savernake Cottage Hospital, where he died on the following Sunday morning.  The funeral took place on Thursday February 17th.  Mr James Mann, who was 72 years of age, had in his younger days been a bandsman in the Royal Navy and later had acted as postman, and was very well known in the village, more especially through his connection in past years with the Burbage Village Band.  Much sympathy is felt for his widow and relations.


April 1916 (Abridged)


HOLY WEEK. - Palm Sunday 16th.  ......... Preacher (6pm) will be the Rev J C Alcock, Rector of Wotton Rivers.


EASTER DAY. - ....... The Easter offerings, will be, in accordance with custom, given to the Vicar.


EASTER COMMUNION. - ..........


CEMS. - .......


THE WAR. - Two or three weeks of wintry weather and deep snow have intervened, and in France at Verdun the great German offensivehas been met with a gallant and successful resistance on the part of our allies.  The National Service Act is now taking effect at home, and though there are many abxieties, we may look forward hopefully and prayerfully to the immediate future.


A CONCERT is being arranged for Wednesday in Easter week in aid of the Savernake Cottage Hospital and the Farmers' Red Cross Fund.  Mr Wasey is Hon Treasurer, and the Hon Secretaries are Mr E S Webb and mr J T Mainstone.  A high class programme is promised.


THE BURBAGE AND EASTON FRIENDLY SOCIETY. - At the time of going to press there remains only one member's claim to be sent in and dealt with, and he, I believe, is with the Navy somewhere in the North Sea.


THE DAY SCHOOLS. - Several cases of Scarlet Fever have been notified.  Prompt action was taken by Dr Clark-Jones and Doctor Beards to check the outbreak by immediate isolation, and it is hoped that there will be no epidemic.  Parents are warned against negecting any suspicious symptoms, such as sore throat and rash, and should call in the doctor at once, and take every precaution against spreading the complaint.  Care and commonsense will do a great deal to prevent infection.  NB - Since the above was in print, the order has come to close the schools till April 10th.


THE GFS CLASSES will be discontinued for the season after Wednesday in Holy Week.


WE HAVE LOST by death a well-known and much respected resident, Mrs Brooke, of Westcourt, who is much lamented and will be greatly missed.  Also Mrs Davis, of East Sands, age 92.  RIP.


May 1916 (Abridged)


EASTER DAY. - The services were well attended on the whole, though more communicants might have been expected.....  I desire to thank all who sent flowers or helped in the decorations.  The morning being bright and sunny, the Church looked very pretty with the adornment of daffodils, primroses and narcissus.  The services were of the usual festal character, with an anthem at evensong.


THE EASTER VESTRY was held on Easter Monday, at 10am.  Mr E J Mann was nominated as Vicar's warden and Mr R G Green elected people's warden. The Church accounts for the past year shew a balance to be carried forward.  We must remember that some repairs to the fabric should be undertaken this summer, the rain and frost having damaged the pointing in two or three places.  The list of sidesmen will be found on the front of the cover.


THE CEMS. - Members who have not yet paid their subscription are asked to do so at once to Mr C A New, Hon Secretary.


THE CHURCHYARD. - Children are cautioned against playing in the Churchyard and littering it-and the Church Green-with bits of paper.  Let us all agree to do our best to keep the approaches to God's House decent and in order.


THE DAY SCHOOLS re-openedon Easter Tuesday, April 25th, having been closed since March 23rd.  With regard to the summer holidays, it is proposed to have 3 weeks, beginning about Midsummer, to include the hay harvest, and 4 or 5 weeks from about the second or third week in August, to cover the corn harvest.  There will be no holiday (except Whit Monday) at Whitsuntide.


NEW RECRUITS.- The following names should be added: F Highett, AOC, James Smith.  It is reported that Chas H Bailey of 5th Wilts has been wounded, but no particulars have yet been received.  It is hoped that it is not serious.


THE CONCERT. - I regret that we go to press before the Concert, but no doubt a full repoort will appear in the 'Marlborough Times'.


A SWALLOW was seen in the Church on Saturday, April 1st.  But one swallow does not make a summer, as we found out during the following week.


The Tercentenary of Shakespeare's death is being celebrated as these notes are being written............


June 1916 (Abridged)


THE WAR. - Mrs Sands and all our family join with me in thanking the many friends and parishioners who have sent us messages of sympathy in the heavy sorrow which has befallen us.  Our eldest son, Captain Leslie Kelham Sands, of the 10th Lancashire Fusiliers, was severely wounded by a German machine gun, while on battalion duty with his company, soon after dark on Easter Day, April 23rd.  He was at once taken to a hospital behind the lines, and received every possible attention, but only recovered consciousness for a short time, and passed peacefully away on Friday morning April 28th.  Very numerous have been the letters offriends who knew him well in boyhood, at school, and at home, and later at Oxford, in camp and in the trenches and on the battlefield.  All alike tell of the affection and honour in which he was held for his depth and solidarity of character, his gentle and unassuming nature, and his fearless devotion to duty.  A few expressions may be quoted from three or four letters only, written by Oxford clergymen, all but one Fellows of Oriel College, and his former tutors.  ' Such a gallant figure, with a fine soldierly bearing.  My heart went out to him.  such gallant lives are not laid down in vain.  May we all be made worthy of them!' 'Genuinely and sincerely religious.'  'An entirely white and blameless life.'  'Truth and honour personified.'  Such a fine, bright, big fellow; one of the very best, always cheery and so good.'  'He stood out as a grand type of a good English lad.'  Our Bishop writes, 'Your boy has given his life, and now you leave him with unclouded confidence, in His Hands, Who gave Himself for us all.'


The following is a notice of him, taken from the 'Church Times' of May 19th under the head of 'Roll of Honour, sons of the clergy.'  "Born in 1892 he was educated first at Solihull Grammar School and afterwards at King Edward's School, Birmingham where he obtained a foundation scholarship in 1903, which he held for eight years. He entered Oriel College Oxford, in October 1911, and took third class Honours in Classical Moderations in 1913, and was reading for Honour 'Greats' when at the close of his third year, the war broke out.  Keenly interested in O.T.C. work as well as being fond of games and athletic sports, he applied for a commission at once, and was frst connected with 5th Wilts, but soon after was gazetted to the Lancashire Fusiliers.  He went out to the Western Front in July 1915, as a Lieutenant.  In his school days a chorister, server and cross bearer latterly he often, when at home read the lessons in Church.  'One of the bravest and the best.' 'It always did one good to see him solidly and cheerfully facing whatever might come'. Such is the testimony of his comrades and fellow officers."


I am reluctant to add anything further, but is it not true to say, that the glorious Easter message of life and immortality through our Risen Lord comes home to our hearts with new force and consolidation, seing that our dear son received his call in his country's cause on Easter Day; and is it not right to believe that God has work for the brave ones who have fallen, in the higher and fuller life beyond the veil.


AMONG THE WOUNDEDare the names Daniel Richard Spanswick and William Thomas Shewring, of the Wiltshire Regiment.  I only hope the wounds are not too serious.


THE MILTARY SERVICES ACT is being amended and enlarged so as to include all of military age, unless disqualified or specially exempted.  A year ago - in the June number - I wrote 'it acnnot be too often repeated that the only way to shorten the warand save the waste of life is to present the strongest possible offensive to the enemy, by more recruits and more munitions.'  It has been obvious for a year and a half at least to anyone who took the trouble to think, that more resolute measures were urgently needed.  At last - after a long and quite unnecessary delay - they have come to pass.


THE RED CROSS SALE, organised by the Farmers Union at Savernake, was a great success, notwithstanding the stormy weather, £1000 was realised, greatly to the honour of all who took part.


THURSDAY, June 1st is Ascension Day.........


N.B. - The Summer Time Act came in force very early on Sunday morining, May 21st, when all clocks were or had been previously put forward one hour.  This holds good till the end of September.




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© Burbage 1914